Drunk Driving Laws in New York
First and foremost, it is important to be aware of the key differences in meaning of the term “drunk driving” laws. “Drunk driving,” and “drinking-and-driving,” are colloquial, non-legal terms that mean operating a vehicle while impaired.
The legal terms are as follows:
- DWI: An acronym, meaning “driving while intoxicated.”
- DUI: An acronym meaning “driving under the influence.”
- However, in the State of New York, the terms are a little more specific. They are as follows:
- DWAI/Alcohol: Stands for “driving while ability (is) impaired,” when the impairment is, specifically, caused by alcohol.
- DWAI/Drugs: Stands for “driving while ability (is) impaired,” when the impairment is, specifically, caused by drugs.
- DWAI/Combination: Stands for “driving while ability (is) impaired,” and the impairment is caused by a combination of both drugs and alcohol.
New York State has one more term, the most severe grade of violation:
- A-DWI: Stands for “aggravated driving while intoxicated.” This charge implies that your BAC was .1 or higher at the time of arrest.
Drinking and driving, or driving under the influence of drugs, can lead to heavy fines, license suspensions or revocations, and even time in jail.
How Age Affects Your Charge
New York State employs an act called the Zero-Tolerance law. Whereas the statewide BAC (blood-alcohol content) is .08 percent, the limit is .02 percent for drivers under the age of 21. For a young driver, violating these rules will result in a 6-month suspension of their license and a $125 civil penalty. Other punishments may apply, like state-mandated rehabilitation programs and/or the installation of ignition interlock devices. Ignition interlock devices, or IIDs, require a driver to exhale into an apparatus wherein the breath is analyzed for traces of alcohol. Only if the device proves the driver sober will the ignition start.
As you will see, these rules and penalties are more stringent than those for drivers over the age of 21. Here is a useful table outlining different violations and their respective penalties for all other drivers:
|DWI / Alcohol||DWI / Drugs||DWI / Combo||Aggravated DWI|
|1st Offense||Up to 15 days in jail. License revocation up to 1.5 months. Fine between $300 – $500.||Up to 6 months in jail. License revocation up to 6 months. Minimum $250 fine.||Potential 1 year jail time. License revocation up to 6 months. Fine of between $500 – $1,000.||Potential 1 year jail term. License revocation for at least 1 year. Fine of between $1,000 – $2,500.|
|2nd Offense||Up to 30 days in jail. License revocation up to 6 months. Fine between $500 – $750.||Up to 4 years in jail. License revocation up to 1 year. Fine between $1,000 – $,5000.||Potential 4 year jail time. License revocation up to 18 months. Fine of between $1,000 – $5,000.||Potential 4 year jail time. License revocation for at least 18 months. Fine between $1,000 – $5,000.|
Contact Our DWI And DUI Attorneys
We at Kaplan Lawyers PC stress the importance of never getting behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking- even if you feel sober or think you’ve only had a minimal amount to drink. It’s often difficult for a person to tell when exactly they’ve crossed the legal limit and the costs of being caught drinking and driving are just too high. That’s why we plead with our clients to seek alternative methods of transportation if they decide to partake in alcohol. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, however, it’s time to take action. Our skilled team of attorneys can work alongside you, analyzing the details of your situation and then mounting a strong defense. A drunk driving conviction can leave a dark spot on your history and can greatly inconvenience you for years and years. Insurance premiums and employment opportunities can both be negatively affected by a DUI or DWAI. Don’t let this happen to you. Call us today for a free consultation, and Kaplan Lawyers PC will get started rectifying your situation.